This was the title of a talk (and the question posed) on July 29th at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London by Haroub Othman, Professor of Development Studies at the University of Dar es Salaam. It was a well-timed address as, only two weeks later, the matter reached the top of the agenda in Tanzania’s National Assembly when 57 MP’s signed a motion demanding the establishment of a Government of Tanganyika.

For quite some time there have been significant groups in Zanzibar questioning whether it is in the best interests of the Isles to remain in Union with the mainland of Tanzania in a United republic. A new development in recent weeks has been the sudden expression by mainlanders of their serious reservations also about the Union.

Zanzibar’s unilateral act in joining the ‘organisation of Islamic Conference’ (OIC), apparently without any objection from the Union Government, plus the subsequent Union Parliamentary (Marmo) Enquiry were described in the May 1993 Bulletin of Tanzanian Affairs.


Under apparently massive pressure from the mainland and with considerable reluctance on the part of Zanzibar it was eventually announced on August 13 1993 that Zanzibar would withdraw from the OIC. Prime Minister and First Vice-President John Malecela stated however that the Union Government was doing research on whether the OIC engaged purely in economic cooperation and social welfare (as had been claimed by Zanzibar) or whether it was primarily a religious organisation. There was a possibility of the Union joining the OIC at a later date if it was secular in nature.

When the estimates for the 1993/94 budget of the Office of the Second Vice-President (who is also President of Zanzibar) came up for debate in the National Assembly, MP’s were clearly disturbed and also divided in their reactions to the withdrawal. The debate was tense. Speakers received sporadic applause from crowds listening outside the Parliament Chambers.

Some MP’s commended the Zanzibar Government for the decision to withdraw saying it was a demonstration of political maturity. They called for a compromise on ‘matters which were likely to divide the 29-year-old political marriage between the then Tanganyika and Zanzibar’.

One MP suggested that the setting up of a single government could end the ‘undue bickering’.

The MP for Njombe said he believed that Zanzibar had been rejected by the OIC Secretariat, that it had never become a member, that there was no need to praise it for withdrawing and that it had been a case of cheap political propaganda. His speech was interrupted by Government Ministers on points of order.

The MP for Kongwa, proposing a cut of one shilling in the Second-Vicc-President’s budget, said that Zanzibar President Salmin Amour should apologise to the House over his request earlier in the year for MP’s to stop questioning Zanzibar’s entry into the OIC.

Prime Minister John Malecela pleaded with MP’s to start healing the wounds “Let us take confidence building measures … we have already caused a lot of wounds; let’s start dressing them now”.

MP’s eventually agreed to restore the shilling and passed the budget estimates.

For some time before this, the press in Dar es Salaam had been reporting a succession of visits by President Mwinyi, President Amour and several other leaders to Mwalimu Nyerere’s Butiama retirement home for urgent discussions on Union matters. And on August 17th readers of the Daily News were greeted with a huge front page headline – ‘NATION WARNED. NYERERE IN DEFENCE OF TANZANIA’.

The retired President addressed first the members of Parliament and then a press conference. He said that the nation was bound to disintegrate if those in authority continued to violate the Constitution. Lawlessness would throw the nation into anarchy.

Mwalimu Nyerere said that he had been disturbed by the way the Government had handled the controversial Zanzibar entry into the OIC. The move was an outright violation of the Union Constitution and he was pleased that Zanzibar had now decided to withdraw.

“What is more puzzling” he said “is the way the Government was behaving before and after Zanzibar’s entry. The news was reported for the first time by the BBC and was later picked up by the local press. But the Government was reluctant to admit that Zanzibar had joined until the press produced more information”. Mwalimu said that such a violation of the Constitution was a difficult subject to talk about. He said however that he found it even more difficult to keep quiet.

“To all Cabinet Ministers, some of whom have now concentrated their efforts on the demolition of pork shops, I have a question. What has happened these days? Do you these days take an oath to protect pork shops? In our day we took an oath to defend the Constitution” he went on. The CCM National Executive Committee and the Central Committee, through shelving important national issues …. had contributed to Zanzibar’s unconstitutional entry into the OIC. “If there is a lack of consensus on a principle, some (people) resign. Oh Yes! And they openly explain why they’ve done so”.

Mwalimu went on to say that the OIC controversy had fanned the sentiments of those demanding a different structure for the Union. Some were calling for three governments (Union, Mainland and Zanzibar) while others demanded one central Union government only.

He made it clear that he was in favour of the present two-government system (the Union and Zanzibar governments). He said that matters of national interest should not be regarded as ‘sensitive’ and should not be handled secretly. such practices would be regarded as ‘cunning tactics I which were contrary to good governance.

This was the first time that Mwalimu Nyerere had openly criticised the government which succeeded his. Some commentators linked the Mwinyi government’s mixed signals when the OIC controversy first emerged to the fact that President Mwinyi is himself from Zanzibar and probably had divided loyalties.

Former Union Prime Minister Joseph Warioba has been among the MP’s who have consistently pressed the government to come out clearly on the OIC issue. In the tense Parliamentary debate in August he asked “Was the constitution violated or not?”

At this stage, and before replying, Minister of Legal and constitutional Affairs Samuel Sitta took a glass of water. The House burst into laughter. “The constitution was violated” he admitted at last. But he added that, although Tanzania was one united sovereign state it had two constitutions one for Zanzibar and one for the Union. This was an anomaly. There was no constitutional court to resolve issues between these constitutions. He pleaded with legislators to leave the arc issue alone before it caused further damage to the Union.

Professor Othman, in his London address, threw some new light on the earliest stages of the Union. He said that the then Zanzibar President (Karume) wanted to have a total union with one government – it was Nyerere who had insisted that Zanzibar’s identity should be preserved. Zanzibari’s initially showed great enthusiasm for the Union but this was primarily because they wanted to be rescued from their own (very tough) revolutionary regime at the time.

The Professor was in favour of continuation of the Union which had brought stability and peace; a three-part Federation would mean its dismemberment. He recommended that the following measures should be taken to avoid the withering away of the Union:
– a reduction in the number of items (23) in the constitution which are now Union matters;
– the drafting of new laws by the two Attorney-Generals working together;
– Zanzibar to be free to enter into international contracts on non-Union matters and to have representatives in Tanzanian embassies abroad.

A significant change in recent constitutional discussions is that the word ‘Tanganyika,’ long since out of use in the United Republic, was now being freely employed.

An editorial in the Business Times on August 20,1993 had this to say: ‘Every dark cloud has its silver lining …. despite Nyerere’s admirable attempts to save the present structure (of the Union) it is obvious that two governments for Tanganyika and Zanzibar will never work satisfactorily. Nyerere is probably right that a Federal three-government structure will lead to the collapse of the United Republic and that a single central government is a nonstarter … in the circumstances, the only realistic and lasting solution is to have two separate and sovereign states working in close collaboration. The end of the Union would not be a progressive step but it would also not be the disaster it is made out to be by some people …. economic necessity and geography, apart from a shared history, culture and defence needs, would all dictate close cooperation between the two countries’.

As this Bulletin goes to press the constitutional situation remained fluid. The Government announced that a report on the state of the Union would be made in Dodoma in October 1993. At a full CCM Party meeting agreement was reached on a consultation exercise in which people would be able to express their views on the future of the Union and the possibility of the creation of a Tanganyika Government within it. The 57 MP’s who had earlier demanded the setting up of such a government revised their motion in favour of a referendum on the matter for mainlanders.

In an effort to remove a long-standing bone of contention the Zanzibar Government agreed to allow mainlanders to visit Zanzibar without passports. The opposition Civic United Front promptly objected. Others complained about ‘the selling of Zanzibar to Tanganyika’ and ‘the auctioning of its statehood’.


Prime Minister Malecela has announced that the two governments had agreed on a solution to another controversial matter which had led to a heated debate in Parliament in February and on which the Government had requested more time for study. In future there would be only one Vice-President instead of two. He/she would be the running mate of the successful Presidential candidate.

The Union remains an issue dividing the new political parties which are outside Parliament. The Rev Christopher Mtikila, Chairman of the as yet unrecognised Democratic Party is in favour of the splitting up of the Union and letting Zanzibar go its own way. CHADEMA is in favour of continuing the Union and possibly adopting the three-government approach as the best way to save it. The leading party in Zanzibar the CUF is also in favour of a continuation of the Union.

The National Electoral Commission has responded to representations from opposition parties and postponed the local government elections scheduled for 1993 to 1994 to give more time for preparations.

Mwalimu Nyerere commented that when he took stock of the political state of affairs in Tanzania “I don’t see any other party (than the CCM)”. The CCM publicity Secretary said that the party’s rising membership now totals 3.5 million. Prime Minister Malecela, at a meeting with representatives of CHADEMA, said that the government would seriously investigate allegations of CCM harassment of opposition parties.

CHADEMA leader Edwin Mtei has said that his party stands for the capitalist road of development, the conversion of National Service camps into vocational training centres, a radical reduction in the size of the army and abandonment of the project to move the capital to Dodoma.

On July 27th the Government issued a statement saying that former Cabinet Minister Oscar Kambona, the leader of TADEA, had finally had his Tanzanian citizenship confirmed ‘on historical, circumstantial and humanitarian grounds’. As Mr Kambona had indicated that he wished for reconciliation with the government, CCM and other national leaders the past should be forgotten and a new chapter opened.

Hilary Mapunda’s Liberal Democratic Party has been dissolved.

Representatives of eight opposition parties walked out of the Arusha International Conference Centre hall when Zanzibar President Salmin Amour started his opening speech. They claimed that they had no quarrel with the CCM but that the Zanzibar President was dictator and was suppressing the CUP opposition. On his return to Zanzibar the President attended a large CCM welcome home rally.

According to ‘Baraza’ (April 1993) Moslems in Tanzania would form a political party if the Rev. Mtikila’s Democratic Party were to be granted full registration.


The Bulletin understands that even in far away Singida (and presumably everywhere else in Tanzania) when you are thirsty and want a strong drink you no longer ask for a ‘Safari’ beer. You ask for an ‘Mtikila’!

The growing popularity of the Chairman of the Democratic Party, has been giving cause for concern to people within and outside Tanzania. German TV journalist Iris Karlovits interviewed him recently for the Dar es Salaam ‘Express’. The following are extracts from the interview:

ON RELIGION AND THE SECULAR STATE: I believe that those in power try to separate politics from religion because they want to be free to do evil against mankind; as a Pastor and evangelist, politics has never been separated from my ministry especially when it deals with people’s rights and with the resources which keep them happy. Politics and religion are one and the same because they both deal with people’s rights.

ON TANZANIA’S GREATEST PROBLEMS: 1. The moral decay of our society; 2. mental anaesthesia (Julius Nyerere deliberately administered some political anaesthesia into the brains of the people of this country in order to subdue them; we were reduced to the level of livestock who just lived for the wishes of the master); 3.the total decay of health services; 4. the economic ruin.

ON EDUCATION: We need intensive education for democracy. The subject should be called ‘civics’ as in the colonial days. It was so nice. It taught us all to be proud of our country. We were taught to try and do our best. We strived to lead, to be the best in our studies, in our work. But all this spirit is dead. Most of the education used to be provided by missionaries. Many of the teachers came from outside. The missionaries taught good discipline and patriotism. Now these guys deliberately nationalised those schools and crushed them down. We need to restore those schools to the missionaries because by taking them away we have ruined our education system.

ON HOW TO RAISE MORE MONEY TO PAY FOR BETTER EDUCATION: 1.Cut the intelligence service which spends billions of shillings. Its major work was to prevent the emergence of opposition and to suppress democracy. But now opposition is legal; 2.Stop the extravagance on creating new ministries; 3. There are too many tax exemptions for influential persons; 4. Huge amounts of money are being taken out of the country.

ON THE ‘MAFIA SYNDICATES’: Our party has a list of 160 people who are responsible for all this. They are businessmen, top men in the CCM, high ranking officials, some foreigners and diplomats. There are the ‘Gabacholis’ who are of Asian origin. They are Arabs, Zanzibaris from Pemba, Somalis and a few Westerners. They are importing containers full of drugs and re-exporting to Zambia, Zimbabwe and South Africa. Those people who say that we are going to fail in business if we chase away the ‘Gabacholis’ are only insulting the Tanganyika people. They think that God put beans in the heads of Tanganyikans and brains in the heads of the thieves from other countries who come to loot our country.

ON INDIGENISATION: Indigenisation is education and change of the regulations for commerce. Our business people here have been denied opportunities. Foreigners have their own motherlands. They’ve come here to get rich. A Tanganyikan is a person of Tanganyikan origin not only born here. Being born anywhere is meaningless. If I were staying in Switzerland and my wife delivered a baby there, this does not change her Tanganyikan origin. We do not have to go into archaeology to dig up bones to see who was here before whom.

ON THE ‘SELLING OF THE COUNTRY’: The country is on sale! They are selling the land. What about Loliondo, the game parks, everything? So they say I am an instigator and what have you. They are sick. All the diamonds are going. We had 300,000 elephants at independence. No one should point a finger at the British, because they left us with everything intact. Now we have got about 8,000 left. If the Germans are compensating the Jews for having killed them and if the Americans are to pay the West Africans for the slaves they took, we have got to start discussing compensation from the Arabs.

ON ZANZIBARIS: They have a different identity (from Tanganyikans). They are Zanzibaris.


The latest developments in the religious differences reported in Bulletin No 45 are as follows:

– followers of the Mount Meru Lutheran Diocese in Arusha have finally agreed with the Government’s decision to disband the rebel Diocese in order to sustain peace in the area;

– the trial of 16 Muslim fundamentalists allegedly involved in the destruction of pork shops (Bulletin 45) continues.

– addressing crowds at the unveiling of a cross to commemorate the 125 years since the first Roman Catholic missionaries stepped ashore at Bagamoyo, Home Affairs Minister Augustine Mrema said he gave ‘religious divisive elements’ (Muslim fundamentalists) seven days to stop or the police would deal with them.

– ‘Africa Events’ protested (June 1993) that such government actions sidestepped the underlying issue. Muslims claimed that they had been marginalised. A 1983 study had stated that 78% of secondary school students were Christians. At the University another study indicated that from 1986 to 1990 only 13% of students had been Muslims compared with 86% Christians. The present Cabinet had only 8 Muslim Ministers out of 24. The article did not mention that the head of state is a Muslim. It went on to point out that twenty out of 24 Principal Secretaries were Christians.

The rearing of pigs and selling of pork in residential areas was unheard of in the past. Nowadays pigs moved about freely in mixed residential areas. Why had the Government not taken to court persons involved in the Mount Meru Lutheran religious crisis where people had been killed? The Government was wrong to use the big stick of witch-hunting, court actions, restrictions on (Muslim) clerics I freedom of speech …… (The above information comes form a variety of media sources and individuals in Tanzania and Britain Editor).


Tanzania, like many other countries in the Third World, suffers from a heavy burden of foreign debt. The causes are complex. Some imprudent borrowing may have occurred during the seventies, when records of foreign debt and debt servicing were inadequate and uncoordinated and an overview of the nation’s obligations would not have been possible, while assumptions about economic growth were made that in the event proved much too sanguine. But the main cause was the severe economic recession of the eighties, leading over a number of years to a negative growth rate per head and an economy increasingly unable to bear the weight of debt. As a result, much bilateral debt, especially that owing to countries outside the main industrial group, and many commercial obligations have fallen into arrears, giving rise to the imposition of penalties and leading to the accumulation of new debt by capitalisation of the arrears.

By 1991 Tanzania had acquired the unenviable status of a ‘low income, debt-distressed economy’ and was no longer able unaided to work its way out of its difficulties without the prospect of further widespread and extremely damaging default on existing obligations. Tanzania’s total external debt, which at the end of 1986 amounted to about $3.9 billion, by the end of 1992 had passed the $6 billion mark. In 1991, expressed as a percentage of gross national product (GNP), the average stock of foreign debts in all countries of the world amounted to 37%, in Sub-Saharan Africa as a whole 109% and for Tanzania no less than 256%. Notwithstanding some alleviation as a result of rescheduling and other relief measures, debt service obligations still remained at 59% of revenue from the export of goods and services in 1990-91. Tanzania’s indebtedness had thus reached crisis proportions and was exercising a damaging influence on the prospects for economic recovery.

In Tanzania arrangements for the recording and handling of foreign debt have hitherto proved ineffective as a control mechanism in the absence of a single authority for the recording, monitoring and supervision of debt and debt servicing. As a result, there could be no clear picture of the extent and nature of the country’s present and prospective external obligations. This situation has now been remedied by placing the responsibility for the monitoring of all external debt and advising the Government on debt management in the hands of the External Debt Department of the Bank of Tanzania. At the same time, with the help of the Commonwealth Secretariat, new computerised procedures for the recording and analysis of debt and debt-related matters have been instituted, using CS-DRMS software.

The central problem facing Tanzania is the insupportable volume of debt and the need to bring it within reasonable limits. The importance of this goes beyond a reduction of debt servicing to the point where it constitutes a reasonable charge on export revenues. An excessive debt burden leads inexorably to default and default undermines confidence and imposes higher and unnecessary costs on commercial transactions. It also discourages foreign investment. Hitherto it has been necessary for each instalment of interest and capital on foreign debts to be the subject of a separate application for foreign exchange and some commercial creditors have been waiting many years for a posi ti ve response, even where debtors have met their obligations in local currency. It is therefore essential to reach a situation in which, once a credit deal has been approved, all subsequent debt servicing is automatic.

At the end of 1991 Tanzania, with one or two exceptions such as the East African Development Bank, the League of Arab States and the OPEC Special Fund, was up-to-date in honouring its obligations to the main multilateral financial institutions, notably the World Bank, and to the principal industrial donor countries. The country’s obligations to the multilateral bodies constitute about 35% of the total external debt, some 90% of which is on concessional terms I free of interest with fifty year periods of maturity. Nevertheless, with the progressive ending of grace periods, the servicing of concessional debts is expected to rise from $19 million in 1992 to $49 million by the year 2000. The servicing of much of the remaining 10%, which is on quasi-commercial terms, will be assisted by the World Bank’s concessional wing, the International Development Association (IDA), under the Special Programme of Assistance for Africa and by bilateral donors. IDA debt, under current rules, cannot. be waived or rescheduled.

That part of intergovernmental debt that is owing to the Principal industrial countries (about 40% of the total in 1991) has already been rescheduled four times, providing relief in respect of debt service obligations. In January 1995, it is hoped that it will prove possible to include within the scope of the new arrangements what is known as the ‘Trinidad terms’. This plan, originally put forward by the UK Government in 1990, provided for the writing off of two thirds of the stock of non-concessional inter-governmental debt. The effect of this measure, if confirmed, has been estimated to bring Tanzania’s stock of debt as a percentage of GNP down to a level marginally below the average for Sub-Saharan Africa. Further growth of the economy on present prospects should reduce the ratio to below 60% by the year 2000. Debt cancellation would also reduce the annual cost of debt servicing to the region of 20% of the earnings from the sale abroad of goods and services by 1996 and to the region of 10% by the end of the century. It is hoped that in the meantime debt to countries not included in the above arrangements can be rescheduled on similar lines.

Some of the outstanding commercial debts have been protected by export credit guarantee arrangements in the creditor countries and therefore in effect rank as official debts, subject to the arrangements described in the foregoing paragraph. Arrangements are now in train to redeem the remaining uninsured debts and outstanding suppliers’ credits by means of a buyback scheme operated under the IDA Debt Reduction Facility. The effect of the buyback scheme is to purchase debts in convertible currency at discounted rates by means of an IDA loan, thus converting the obligation into a highly concessional debt of 50 year maturity.

It is hoped that the complex of measures described in this paper will enable Tanzania within a few years to regain control of its foreign debt servicing to a reasonable charge on its external resources. Such an outcome can powerfully stimulate the economy by releasing valuable foreign exchange hitherto used for debt servicing, but more importantly, by restoring Tanzania’s reputation as a good trading partner. Essential to the changes now in train is the new centralised system of debt management, which will enable the Government, to forestall any future tendency towards over-commitment.

While the reduction of the debt stock to a manageable size and the restoration of automatic debt servicing is likely to provide a boost to the economy, the newly imposed self-discipline will also restrain over-hasty development. Almost all new development increases the demands made on the external sector of the economy, but any attempt to meet such external obligations by borrowing beyond prudent limits cannot fail to damage economic prospects. It is thus necessary for planners to calculate the foreign exchange implications of all major planning proposals, including the subsequent external requirements for maintenance purposes. Data of this kind is as essential for orderly debt management as it is for successful economic development.
J Roger Carter


The announcement by the Government that it is to introduce a Bill in Parliament to establish a Tanzania Media Council which would license journalists to practice their profession and regulate their standards of conduct has met with fierce opposition in the media and in Parliament. The Bill would also deal with what it termed ‘concentration of the media in a few hands’. The Council would be empowered to cancel or suspend the licence of a newspaper, television or radio station.

The maiden ‘ Edwardian Train Safari’ from Capetown arrived in Dar es Salaam, after a 10-day journey, on time at lOam on July 25th. The head of the Moshi-based Alpine Tours Limited said that the trip had been organised in order to promote Tanzania as an important tourist destination in sub-Saharan Africa. Forty tourists later flew onto Dar es Salaam to join the train for the return journey which was likely to cost each of them US$ 6,000.

The General Manager of the Tanzania cotton Marketing Board has said that he expected cotton output to decline by half this season to 289,000 bales compared with 570,000 last year. The main cause was the country’s low ginning capacity. Up to 40% of the 1992/93 crop was yet to be ginned. Although the country had more than 30 ginneries most of them were operating below capacity because of old age – Daily News.

Comparing rates of crime in Dar es Salaam between January and May last year and the same period this year, The Ministry of Home Affairs has given the following figures:
– offences against property: 35,904 last year; 22,521 this year;
– offences against persons: 10,108 compared with 10,552;
– armed robbery: 48 last year; 32 this year;
– robbery with violence: 292 compared with 231;
– house-breaking: 2,461 compared with 2,298;
– killings: 45 last year; 55 this year – Daily News.

The Tanzania Railways Corporation (TRC) realised a pre-tax profit of Shs 2 billion in the 1992/93 financial year, 70% above the profit recorded in 1991/92 signalling a remarkable recovery after years of slump said Minister of Transport and Communications Philemon Sarungi on July 26th. The EC’s aid was beginning to payoff. Six engines, 315 cargo and 19 passenger wagons had been rehabilitated – Daily News ..

There are many links between communities and schools in Britain and mainland Tanzania but, as yet, few with Zanzibar. ‘One World Linking’ the Newsletter of the UK One World Linking Association UKOWLA (The Old Rectory, Newbiggin, Temple Sowerby, Penrith, Cumbria, CA10 ITB) reports in its latest issue on links between Hereford and Muheza, Reddich and Mtwara and Leominster and Tengeru. Those interested in a possible link with Zanzibar might like to get in touch with UKOWLA or wi th Ms Fatima Abdullah at the Tanzania High Commission – Tel No: 071 499 8951.

Forms I – IV Shs 30,000 (£43) day and Shs 40,000 boarding Forms V – VI Shs 35,000 day and Shs 46,000 boarding.

The bulky 1993 Annual Report of the Human Rights organisation I Amnesty International’ covers Tanzania in less than half a page and mentions only the one-day detention of 15 people in Zanzibar, the court case against the Rev Mtikila and the lack of a decision on the charges facing former Zanzibar Chief Minister Seif Shariff Hamad.

The leaders of the Rwanda Government and the rebel Rwanda Patriotic Front paid glowing tributes to President Mwinyi, the official facilitator, at the signing in Arusha on August 4 1993 of a peace agreement after the two-year civil war.

The former Managing Editor of Tanzania Standard Newspapers which publishes the Daily and Sunday News said recently that the company was near bankruptcy and it needed material and financial support from government to enable it to survive competition from the emerging private press.


Suddenly, with a speed I did not believe possible for a beast of such vast, barrel-like proportions, a hippopotamus rose beneath us. Its great mouth sprang open and for a second I saw three feet of terrifying space between its gaping jaws, just a foot away from my left leg.

Its jaws closed on the side of the canoe, but its teeth slipped on the plastic. In a flash we were both stabbing the beast with our oars like frenzied Maasai warriors, discouraging the second assault somewhat. Then, seeing clear water, we plunged our paddles into it, shooting the canoe forward and away with an enthusiasm that would have done credit to the best Oxford or Cambridge rowers. We escaped with leaping hearts to the other bank to light a fire and brew a calming pot of tea.

I remembered the words of Sir Samuel White Baker, the explorer, who noted in 1869: “Being charged by an elephant is a new sensation – very absorbing for the time. It would be an excellent relaxation, once a week, for men in high office.” I wondered whether he would say the same of a hippopotamus attack.

We were in the Selous Game Reserve – the largest, and one of the most inaccessible game reserves in the world. The Rufiji River, with a drainage basin larger than the United Kingdom, runs through it to the Indian Ocean. It was this untamed river, which had never before been navigat2d, that we were hoping to canoe on, from source to sea.

Our route to the source was long and complicated. We needed a permit from Dar es Salaam. Our borrowed canoe lay in Zimbabwe and the cheapest air fare took us to Nairobi via Moscow.

We finally arrived at our starting point near Ifakara on a local bus with our canoe on the roof. Within three days the two of us were alone. For nearly four weeks we would not see a single human being in our vast wilderness. However, we would pass about 40,000 of the beautifully ugly, small-brained hippo. Here, along with the largest populations of elephant, lion, leopard and buffalo is the biggest concentration of hippo and crocodile in the world.

We were hoping to supplement our basic supplies, which we had bought in Ifakara, with fish, but our line proved to be too light. We were down to our last cup of maize meal when a large tiger fish leapt into the canoe. Another day we stole three dozen crocodile eggs and grilled baby crocodiles whole. Sometimes the river got too much and we would spend days blundering through the thick, thorny bush with the canoe on our heads and the tsetse fly around us.

In Stieglers Gorge, where the river roars down a series of rushing rapids, and the precipitous sides rise 300-400ft, making escape almost impossible, we capsized twice, nearly losing the canoe and our belongings.

We reached the delta, a 50-mile wide maze of tidal channels, tired and lost. A man carrying 3,000 mangoes towards the Indian Ocean in a dugout canoe appeared and led us through the final stretch, 22 hours of non-stop canoeing.

Eventually we reached the Indian Ocean, where we sailed to Dar es Salaam in an open 40ft dhow. As I lay there that night, I echoed the words of Wilfred Thesiger: “I learnt the satisfaction that comes from hardship and the pleasure that springs from abstinence; the contentment of a full belly; the taste of clean water; the ecstasy of surrender when the craving for sleep becomes a torment.”

I wondered how long it would be before I would have to be learning these things again.
Ben Freeth

(This article appeared first in The Times Magazine – Editor)



“Sorry Sir. You cannot take your car in because it has no sticker”.
“Look. You have known me since secondary schooldays. I regard you as my brother. Now let me go in”.
“If we work on the basis of brotherhood then nobody is going to pay. Everybody can find a relative somewhere”.
“Alright I will leave the car outside. From now on we are no longer brothers …… ”

“Your car sticker please”.
“I don’t have one and I don’t need any”.
“Then your car won’t go in”.
“Listen young man. Don’t you know who I am? I come from Ikulu …. ”

“Car sticker please”
“What for? This is my country and I am free to go anywhere I like”.
“Sorry. Park your car outside”.
“The trouble with this country is that people in responsible positions enjoy oppressing citizens ….. ”

Why do people break rules and regulations?


EXCHANGE RATES Bureau de Change August 19
Dollar – Shs 465
Pound – Shs 690

NET INFLOW. Tanzania registered a net inflow of some US$ 20 million in the first ten months of activity by the Bureaux de Change shops first opened in April 1992.

MORE THAN 430 PROJECTS worth Shs 200 billion have been approved by the Investment Promotion Centre in Oar es Salaam since 1991.

NEW BANKS. The first two foreign banks under the Banking Reform are the Meridien BIAO which opened on August 9th (1,200 people opened accounts on the first day) and the Standard Chartered which was due to open in September 1993. The Government owned National Bank of Commerce (NBC) closed 29 non-viable branches in July.

Bank of Tanzania Governor Gilman Rutihinda (49) died of cancer of the pancreas in London on June 20th. Thousands of people attended his funeral in Dar es Salaam. He is succeeded by Dr. Idris Rashid who was formerly Managing Director of the NBC.

“TANZANIA HAS ALL THE CRITERIA NEEDED FOR JAPANESE INVESTMENT” said Dr. K Konoike, President of the Koinike Construction Company and Honorary Consul of Tanzania in Os aka . These included a good human rights record and the move towards a market-oriented economy. Dr. Konoike’s company is engaged in rehabilitating Dar es Salaam’s road system as part of the Shs 20 billion Japanese aid programme in the 1992/93 financial year.

PRIVATISATION AND OWNERSHIP. ‘Parastatal enterprises have become a burden to the Government and to the economy as a whole …. the move to privatisation rests on the need for the Government to relieve itself of this enormous burden …. the offer of shares to the public is not possible in the absence of a capital market and (in selling) the enterprises the balance of advantage is in favour of the ethnic minorities – the Asians and Arabs for not only do they have long experience but they also have the capital … what matters in the end is to get a commitment to the goal of developing the indigenous entrepreneurial class without necessarily putting breaks on the growth of other groups’ – F M Kazaura, Principal Secretary, Planning Commission in an article in the ‘Business Times’ .

FIRST TANZANIA-CHINA JOINT VENTURE. President Mwinyi has launched the Tanzania Jeifang Company Ltd in Dar es Salaam. It will assemble 6-ton trucks and later manufacture local components.

TCFB ROLE QUESTIONED. Participants in a workshop on trade facilitation in Dar es Salaam questioned the relevance of the Tanzania Central Freight Bureau (TCFB) saying that its existence was a burden to the already long and complicated import procedures and documentation process. One participant cited the eleven stages which had to be followed when exporting.

The INTERNATIONAL FUND FOR AGRICULTURAL DEVELOPMENT ( IFAD) has granted US$15.1 million for the Southern Highlands Extension and Rural Financial Services Project.

The WORLD BANK/IDA has made four new credits: – US$ 74 million for the execution of part of a multi-donor Telecommunications Rehabilitation Programme;
– US$ 34.9 million to support public sector institutional capacity building;
– US$ 24.5 million to help pay for institutional changes in the Ministry of Agriculture;
– US$ 200 million for a hydroelectric power facility near the little and great Ruaha rivers.

The EUROPEAN COMMUNITY has granted Shs 25 billion for the import of commodities under the Structural Adjustment Programme.

BRITISH AID. Britain was the chief foreign supplier (£78.6 million in value) and main export market (£21.1 million) for Tanzanian goods in 1992. Britain supplies over 25% of Tanzania I s imports, Italy 18%, Germany 16%, the USA 10% and Japan 9%. Some 370 Tanzanians are studying in Britain at present and 120 VSO volunteers are working in Tanzania.

TANZANIA TOOK ADVANTAGE OF THE RECENT INCREASE IN THE GOLD PRICE. The Bank of Tanzania raised $50 million for 129,000 ounces of pure gold @ 381 and 392 dollars per ounce.

TANZANIA COULD OVERTAKE SOUTH AFRICA, CANADA AND AUSTRALIA IN MINERAL PRODUCTION according to the Commissioner for Mineral Resources. Last year the mining sector contributed 16% of the GNP and, given proper mining machinery and tools, Tanzania could produce 30 grammes of gold per tonne compared with 2 grammes per tonne in South Africa. There were good prospects for nickel, cobalt, copper, diamonds, rubies, tourmaline, tanzanite, saphire, emerald, and amethyst.

“TIMES HAVE CHANGED” said the head of the Swedish International Development Agency. “Tanzania used to have a very special place in our hearts. But a lot of the good theories and ideas (we admired) failed. Instead, a lot of uneconomical state organs and authorities were built up …. The previous relationship, during which Tanzania took the largest single portion of Swedish aid is not (now) there …. I was here in 1974 and Government control systems were much better then – there were reporting systems, follow-up systems, auditing … but they don’t function today …. you need to have very strong government coordinating bodies to ensure the implementation of the rules otherwise you won’t get the money . … Tanzania should speed up its civil service and parastatal reform programme”.

BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES. Each week the Dar es Salaam ‘Express’ publishes lists of business opportunities received by the Board of External Trade from foreign countries. The following are recent examples: sisal (enquiry from a company in India), blue cowhides (Italy), dried sea cucumbers (Singapore), Beeswax (UK), Portland cement (Malaysia), spices (Holland), dried shark fins (Hong Kong), sesame seeds (France).

SALE OF PARASTATALS. The Parastatal sector Reform Commission has advertised for sale 100% of Rubber Industries Limited and a majority equity interest in Southern Paper Mills Ltd.

BEWARE OF FRAUDULENT NOTES! Conmen in Dar es Salaam are producing false 100/- and 500/- notes.


Three decisions of the greatest importance to the future of Tanzania distinguished the budget for 1993-94. Firstly, a gradual withdrawal of the Government from direct involvement in the productive sector of the economy will make possible greater concentration on basic economic and social infrastructure and the creation of an environment favourable to economic progress. The resulting contraction of the Government machine will enable it to close the gap between revenue and expenditure, which hitherto has been brought into balance by foreign grants and by borrowing from the banking system, in the latter case with serious inflationary consequences.

Secondly, measures have been taken to strengthen economic services by increasing the provision of resources for maintenance – particularly important for road maintenance and telecommunications services.

Thirdly, the effectiveness of resource allocation will be increased by compiling a rolling three year plan. The five year plan, which it has been the custom hitherto to issue at equivalent intervals, will henceforth be confined to broad indications of development policy, while operational decisions and priorities will be guided by the rolling three year plan. It is expected that the new system will not only provide a rational basis for the planning of priorities but also enable the Government to confine development within sustainable limits.

The progressive withdrawal of Government from productive activities and measures to increase the efficiency of the Civil service will inevitably lead to the termination of employment of large numbers of civil servants. The Government is sensitive to unemployment and, following a survey of opportunities for employment in the informal sector, the Planning Commission is working on a National Employment Policy to identify areas for job creation and measures necessary for increasing efficiency and productivity. At the same time the Government aims to create a smaller, highly motivated and skilled Civil Service with levels of remuneration commensurate with their contribution to the work of government.

Throughout the budget proceedings runs an emphasis on the role of the private sector and the mobilisation of private capital. To this end, a study on the establishment of a stock exchange is to be undertaken and the Government is also investigating the steps necessary for the establishment of a money market, of which the beginnings already exist in Bureaux de Change.

The budget of 1993-94 has been drawn up under the shadow of retrogression in the previous year. Inflation, which had ducked below 20% in 1990, rose to 23% in 1992. One cause of this was the drought in the catchment area of the Mtera dam, leading to a fall in the water level and interruptions in the supply of electricity to the national grid, with serious consequences for industry. Another cause has been the continuing widespread use of borrowing from the banks to balance the books. In the face of this unfavourable trend, the budget combines retrenchment with measures to increase revenues. Twelve diplomatic missions abroad are being closed and the money saved used in part to help fund the remaining missions. Apart from savings arising from the reduction in strength of the Civil Service, the provision of fringe benefits to entitled officers will be carefully controlled. Payment of water, electricity and telephone bills by the Government will be replaced by the issue of cash up to a specified limit. stricter rules will be applied to the use of Government transport, the number of vehicles will be restricted and the surplus sold by auction. A commission is to be set up to examine other possibilities of saving in the provision of Government services.

After taking account of grants from donors, a recurrent account deficit of Shs 32,416 million will remain. Part of this will be met by improvements in tax collection. Adjustments in the rates of tax are expected to yield a revenue of Shs 10,498 million. These changes are also designed to facilitate the introduction of Value Added Tax in next years budget. Other fiscal measures are expected to raise Shs 21,918 million, sufficient to cover the deficit. The Government has set its face firmly against the resort to borrowing from the banks to meet a revenue shortfall. On the contrary, provision has been made to repay outstanding obligations to the banks in the sum of Shs 39,392 million out of revenue. Any deficiency arising incidentally during the year will be financed by the issue to the public of Treasury Bills.

Throughout the proceedings in Parliament there has been a clear recognition of the limited time during which external support for the economy can be expected. As the Minister of state (Planning) reminded the House, any outside help that might be given should play a catalytic role and complement local efforts. Meantime, a growth target of 4.5% per annum, a fall of inflation to 10% by June 1996 and a reduction of reliance on external financing were the reasonable objectives of the rolling plan for 1993-96 and it is devoutly to be hoped that they will not be frustrated by the vagaries of climate or other unexpected catastrophe.
J Roger Carter